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World Film Locations: New York Paperback – 11 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (11 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841504823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841504827
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

World Film Locations: New York Offers a visually compelling written examination, and celebration, of New York's unique place in cinema. This title presents essays focusing on quintessential New York filmmakers like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and those of the Beat movement. Full description

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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Popeck on 8 Nov. 2013
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If ever a book called out for decent production values then this is it. However, the production is cheap and shoddy and yes, this does detract from the text. NY is an ultra photogenic city and yet the poorly composed images appear out of focus and on inappropriately matt paper. The text is adequate, but nothing more than this. The coverage is illustrative rather than exhaustive. For example, no reference to the semi-classic Scent of a Woman. All in all a wasted opportunity and a mediocre purchase. Come on you guys - how difficult is it to get this right?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A must have book for anyone interested in film 31 Jan. 2012
By david blackman - Published on
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Wonderfully edited by the smart, affable and talented critic and blogger, Scott Harris. I found the book a must for anyone who has been to New York, seen it on the big screen or just a film buff at heart. The entire series is excellent but this is the most important, in my opinion. If you are a Woody Allen, like myself, you certainly cannot get past the front cover without falling in love with the books value. Further, the exceptional price on Amazon makes this simply too good to pass up.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Is that the Woolworth Building?" 13 Aug. 2014
By A Reader - Published on
This slim volume is clearly meant for fans who are already familiar with most of the films under discussion but who are interested in the local angle, who want answers to questions like, "Is that the Woolworth Building?" So it's a mystery why it was considered necessary to provide abbreviated plot summaries, even for such classics as "The Godfather": "... beloved son Michael returns from war a hero with no interest in joining the family business." Why waste words on this when each film is given only about half a page to begin with? It's as if the editor (Scott Jordan Harris) and the publisher (Intellect Books) either have no idea of their intended audience, or have a low opinion of them.

Some rather forgettable movies are considered worthy of brief mention - "Flaming Creatures" from 1963, for instance. "Pillow Talk," which is set in the city but not made there, gets the full treatment. Fair enough. But then why doesn't "12 Angry Men," which was both set in New York and filmed on location, rate so much as a mention? "Moscow on the Hudson" also failed to make the cut. Incredible. (I write this just hours after the death of Robin Williams.)

The choice of films is one thing. But what ultimately makes this ship with insufficient ballast sink is the writing. Practically every entry features annoying little stylistic infelicities. Someone who cares about language can't read more than a few pages without wincing. Take the opening words of the opening essay: "New York City is photogenic. Of course, it is." Gotta love that comma, so carefully placed, so superfluous. Contributing author David Finkle goes on to remind us that the song "Hooray for Hollywood" was written - I kid you not - for Hollywood, and that the music for "An American in Paris" was written - for Paris!

Grace Wang feels it necessary to inform us that the World Trade Centre was located "in New York City." Just in case we thought the towers were in Kokomo. Does anyone (except for Simon Kinnear) seriously think that the torch held aloft by the Statue of Liberty "wards off potential aggressors"? Its official name, "Liberty Enlightening the World," probably gives a better clue as to its intended purpose. According to Emma Simmonds, "All manners [sic] of wickedness" take place in "Rosemary's Baby." In his essay on "Mo' Better Blues," Omar P. L. Moore reveals that "the music and the span of the Brooklyn Bridge symbolically unites [sic] two continents..."

Some of this prose is so flat-footed it would not pass muster in your average American high school. "It is New York City. This is Breakfast at Tiffany's." Somehow Grace Wong failed to add, "That is Audrey Hepburn. She is an actress." Clunky, amateurish writing abounds: "Oscar-nominated for costume design, we..." Samira Ahmed doesn't reveal, though, who - besides us - was also nominated ("The Best of Everything"). "Throughout the film, Serpico is constantly filmed..." (Elisabeth Rappe). Gene Hackman's pursuit of Fernando Rey in "The French Connection" is actually characterized as "far from a walk in the park" - which "climaxes in an [sic] subway terminal" (Michael Mirasol). Probably the original UK edition said the climax took place in "an underground terminal," but since this obviously would have been confusing to an American audience, it had to be changed - incompetently.

It's as if the writers had been given ten minutes to dash off something, and then the result was revised by editors who were distracted by other deadlines. The best writing in the volume comes at the end, in the biographies the contributors submitted of themselves. Far more care was lavished on these entries than on their essays about the films.

Even the typeface was irksome, come to think of it. Pretty pictures, though.
Five Stars 22 April 2015
By Wael Khairy - Published on
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